Sewer Ventilation Column at Meadow Road

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1469014
Date first listed:
23-Apr-2020
Location Description:
Sewer Ventilation Column at Meadow Road.
Statutory Address:
Junction of Meadow Road and Westmead Road (south-western side), Carshalton, SM1 4JP

Map

Ordnance survey map of Sewer Ventilation Column at Meadow Road
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Location

Statutory Address:
Junction of Meadow Road and Westmead Road (south-western side), Carshalton, SM1 4JP

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Sewer Ventilation Column at Meadow Road.
County:
Greater London Authority
District:
Sutton (London Borough)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ2708064588

Summary

Sewer ventilation column of around 1896-1903, located on the west side of the junction of Meadow Road with Westmead Road, constructed by W Macfarlane & Co for a sewerage scheme by Baldwin Latham.

Reasons for Designation

The sewer ventilation column at Meadow Road in Carshalton, LB Sutton, constructed around 1896-1903 by W Macfarlane & Co for a sewerage scheme by Baldwin Latham, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* for its design by the notable sanitation engineer Baldwin Latham (1836-1917), and construction by the Glasgow-based foundry, W Macfarlane & Co, standing as an impressive structure with quality cast-iron mouldings and decoration;

* sewer ventilation columns were once a common feature of the street scene, but original examples of this scale, quality and level of intactness are increasingly rare.

Historic interest:

* as an example of the work of Baldwin Latham, a notable Victorian sanitation engineer who, by the late C19, had designed the sewerage, irrigation and water works for 15 English towns.

Group value:

* as part of a substantial group of sewer ventilation columns that survive throughout Carshalton.

History

The Public Health Act of 1875 delivered legislation to enable the construction of sewer systems across England in an era of rapidly expanding population. The former Carshalton Urban District Council funded a plan in 1896 which had been prepared by the engineer Baldwin Latham (1836-1917) of Victoria Street, Westminster. The first phase of the scheme was built between 1896 and 1900, with a southern extension added around 1903. The sewer ventilation columns for the scheme were constructed by W Macfarlane & Co, a renowned, Glasgow-based, ironwork foundry. Their function was to safely disperse noxious gasses and odour from the sewer, high above the ground.

Baldwin Latham (1836-1917) was a surveyor to the Croydon Board of Health between 1863 and 1870, and was later in private practice as an engineer. By the late C19 he had designed the sewerage, irrigation and water works for 15 English towns and cities, including the schemes at Carshalton, Croydon, Birmingham, Harrow and Rugby. He is also cited as the engineer for the sewerage system in Bideford, Devon which included sewer ventilation columns, three of which are listed at Grade II. Latham was also the author of the publication ‘Sanitary Engineering: a guide to the construction of works of sewerage and house drainage’ (1873). It is not known how many sewer ventilation columns were erected in Carshalton in total, but (including the Meadow Road column) around 28 are known to survive.

Details

Sewer ventilation column of around 1896-1903, located on the west side of the junction of Meadow Road with Westmead Road, constructed by W Macfarlane & Co for a sewerage scheme by Baldwin Latham.

MATERIALS: cast-iron structure of multiple components.

DETAILS: the sewer ventilation column is around 9m high with a pedestal, moulded base and enriched capital. It is constructed of two conjoined lengths of pipe, connected by a flanged joint. On top of the capital is an ornate arrow to orientate the vent into the wind or to indicate the line of the sewer. This in turn is surmounted by a ball fitting with four circular vents, a filigree crown, and finial. The shaft is moulded with the heavily-overpainted maker’s name ‘W MACFARLANE & CO GLASGOW’.

Sources

Other
Insley, J, ‘Latham, Baldwin (1836-1917)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004), (Available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/52328)
Newspaper article of 1897, announcing the construction of Carshalton sewer held at the London Borough of Sutton Archive, under reference LG4/711/5

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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